For years I have had a dream to also go to high schools to be able to reach larger groups of teenagers. I am inspired by various organizations from The US and The Netherlands and for a long time I have tried to establish cooperation with them and people in Romania, but most of the time it did not work out for different reasons. Until spring 2019!
In 2019 this dream came true!! I found support in a local foundation in Oradea, Romania and the people of this foundation are willing to work together on this and we started the workshop ‘Fă un pas’. ‘Fă un pas’ literally means ‘Take a step’ but we call ourself ‘Make a Step’: we want to Make it! I am grateful that this foundation wants to act as an ‘umbrella’ so that we can also legally do various activities and seek cooperation with various local professionals.
The workshop consists of various activities that we do at schools, with the students, or possibly in other kind of youthgroups. Through these activities, we try to connect with them, to make them think about themselves of who they are, think about others or situations they find themselves in. We teach as little as possible and do a lot of interaction. We also try to be on the same level as they are. We do this by, for example, sharing from our own lives in testimonies. We also challenge them to take concrete steps and to be transparent.
To support this and create a safe atmosphere, we take a first step ourselves and ask them to follow. This program aims to make young people realize that they are valuable and that they can support each other. For example, it also confronts them with the harmful side of bullying and challenge them to step out of their own comfort zone.
The atmosphere in which these activities are taking place is based on a positive approach. Our motivation is that we want to make God known as a God of love, even this workshop is not really evangelism! Our intention is to come to any school, not to ‘condemn bad behavior’, but to ‘stimulate good behavior’. This workshop is not an evangelism program, but teaches that keeping a positive standing and having good morals and values can improve the quality of life, also spiritual! The workshop touches the students on a ‘social/emotional’ level and because it does not have an ‘evangelizing character’, we can also bring it to non-christian schools. This gives us a much wider reach!
In May 2019 we have ran a ‘pilot’. We have done three programs at two schools in Oradea. This was a huge success!! Both, students and school leaders (either a teacher or mentor or school psychologist) were very enthusiastic about it! As a result, we have worked hard to address our network in order to build a team, arrange aftercare and enter into cooperation with various organizations. There is still a lot to do in this area, but the first steps has been taken. We have now been able to reach hundreds of teenagers in Oradea and in other places and we receive invitations from other parts of Romania as well.
Currently we are working on a better approach en strategy, in order to be better organized and have the workshop easier to apply.
Follow the developments on our social media channels.